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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Atlanta Festival Ballet

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So far, the only companies that you have expressed that are interested in you have been smaller companies that may not offer you any protection or pay.


If I were your Mom, I would strongly try to dissuade you from signing with them. I would want you to thoroughly investigate the people running these companies, and the environment in which you'd be residing.


How would they develop you as a dancer? What would your odds be of getting hired fulltime after apprenticing with them? Are their professional dancers full-time with full-time pay and benefits? What hours do they expect you to work daily? How much regularly scheduled time off is there? What is their policy of dealing with injuries?


It will be worth your while to invstigate them as if you were hiring them.


I only say this because I care. :)


Edited to fully complete my fractured thoughts of earlier. :blink:

Edited by Clara 76
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As a general rule, if it's a company you haven't heard of, and it has "festival" in the name, and you can't immediately discern the associated festival, be very wary. The London Festival Ballet had its beginnings in the Festival of Britain in 1951, but then, after the show was over, they kept the name. After that, lots of companies sprang up with "festival" in the name, but no festival to show for it!

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Atlanta Festival Ballet and Atlanta Ballet are two completely different companies. Since it appears you are from all the way across the country, I would offer that if it was Atlanta Ballet I would encourage you to move across the country to give it a shot. I would not suggest that for Atlanta Festival Ballet without some in depth information that you receive directly from them and others in the area. There have been a few shakeups there over the last couple of years that I would be concerned are stable before recommending a move at your age and from as far away as you're talking about. With that said, the AD's are well respected.


It is also important with this company to note the position you were hired for. Unless something has changed, trainees and apprentices are part of the school and sometimes very young. They use names like that for their levels not necessarily their company.


Grishko Girl--are your teachers helping you in your company search? I would think they would be a wealth of knowledge for you and a valuable resource.

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I have amended my post from earlier. :)

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Atlanta Festival Ballet is essentially a civic company, a member of SERBA, so in terms of jobs, it will be limited in terms of paid positions to which it could lead. Civic companies can make some fine dancing, though, and there have been times when some civics were producing higher-quality shows than some professional companies.

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Grisko Girl,


A former dancer from my dd's studio has been offered a position at Atlanta Festival Ballet. Please take the advice being so graciously offered by Clara76, Mel Johnson, and Momof3.


When I found out about her offer, I looked at Atlanta Festival Ballet's website. From the information on the website, they perform a total of 8 performances during the year. They do 4 performances of Nutcracker and then 2 performances each of two other ballets during the year. Look at the Company members listed on the website as well. If I remember correctly, there are only 8 with the longest company member being twith them for 7 years and there were several dancers who had only been there for two years. However, the Company is celebrating it's 19th season.


Are they wanting you to teach classes to the lower levels at the affliated school? Are they wanting you to help out in the office as well to help earn additional monies? :lol:


Not to say they aren't a good company or have something of value to offer young dancers, but I have a feeling you probably have some dance companies much closer to home that you could do the same thing with - I know that it's the case with the former dancer from dd's studio. I don't mean to discourage you and it's exciting to receive a job offer, just be wise about it. Good luck to you.

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Mel, Atlanta Festival hasn't been a member of SERBA in a long time. They did used to be.


Some wonderful advice has been given here for anyone looking into smaller companies to dance with. The questions are very different to ask.


Grishko Girl--I don't think anyone is trying to discourage you from taking these positions, but just asking you to dig deeper and get help to find out which ones would be the best for you to take. It does get a bit harder with regional companies. That doesn't make the experience any less grand, just harder to see which ones are dead end streets and which ones will elevate you and allow you to go to the next level. That is where guidance and research will help you or anyone else looking.

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  • 8 months later...

I know this is a little late in posting, but my DD use to dance with this school. They are not a bad school, I just got frustrated with the fact that the owners were always in the Phillipings where they have a sister company/school. The owners are well respected in the dance world. The year we left, my daughter's training was at a stallmate. With the owners out of the country most of the time, the manager left could not make any decisions. They are big on performances and not so great on technique per se. Luckily, we moved schools before any real damage was unfixable. They lost some dancers the year we left probally because of this. Now, the owners are back in the states which seems to make a difference. If things don't work out were we moved my DD to this past year, I may consider returning as there are not many intensive ballet schools on the Southside of Atlanta. I hope this helps in making up your decision.

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